We are very pleased to bring you our fourth guest article from Valerie Manso . We really appreciate her training skills so we feel very fortunate that she has agreed to share some articles with us.
Topic: Flex, Mirror and Match (Establishing, building and Using Rapport) Valerie Manso
I have found it effective at times to meet customers on their own level and to use their language to convey ideas they would not understand if presented in any other fashion. Meeting people on their own level is good business; whether that business is sales, dealing with your boss or dealing with your spouse or significant other. Meeting customers on their own level is in fact what rapport is all about.
Each of us falls into one of these communication categories: Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic. By listening to what your customer says and the words he/she uses you will be able to determine his/her preferred communication style.
Visual: 60% of all people are visuals.
- Responds to information in graphs, charts, videos, and pictures
- Especially responsive to visual imagery in language. i.e. “I can see your point” or “What a bright idea!” or “Let’s look at this a different way”
- Often form pictures in the mind
- Generally very animated and mobile
- Research indicates those who think in pictures process information faster than those who think in words or feelings
- The visual may therefore be somewhat impatient
Auditory: 30% of people are auditory.
- Prefer to have information presented in conversations, discussions, voice mail, audiotapes or phone calls
- Especially responsive to auditory imagery in language. i.e. “That sounds great.” or “I hear what you’re saying” or “Let’s listen to what he has to say.”
- Hear favorite pieces of music in your head
- Open to both sides of an argument
- Do not respond well to written communications…explain it to me is the auditory cry
- Very adept at handling problematic customer relations issues…you listen well!
Kinesthetic: 10% of all people are kinesthetic.
- There are two types of kinesthetic…Internal and external. The internal kinesthetic measures most of their experiences by how they feel inside. The external kinesthetic tends to be hands-on in anything they do. The sense of touch is paramount to them. They also tend to touch others as they communicate.
- Prefer demonstrations of products, mock-ups, models, or actual samples.
- Responsive to kinesthetic imagery in language. i.e. “Can you grasp the concept of lenses that are thinner because of the type of material” or “There’s something about this frame that just doesn’t feel right.”
- When you think or listen to someone, you’re aware of your feelings at a gut level.
- Aware of emotions and others’ changes in mood.
- You churn things around and take walks or fidget when you think.
- Finally, your mental rehearsal will include walking through or doing part of what it is you’re trying to learn.
There are two critical elements to consider when developing effective communication: flexibility and fit. Matching or fitting your style of communicating with another person increases productivity, sales, motivation, and the accurate exchange of information. Conflict is reduced and decision making is improved.
In order to match another’s style, you may need shift from your preferred mode of communication to the preferred mode of your customer. For example, if you have a highly visual orientation and your customer has a highly auditory orientation, then you need to shift to increase communication and rapport with that customer. Building rapport by matching communication styles is the key to effective communication. This process is called MATCHING AND MIRRORING.
Mirroring is nothing more than speech and behavior that offers back to its observers a reflection of themselves. But, it has an almost magical power because of the way people respond to their own speech or behavior. They relate to it and perceive it with great affinity. It is therefore a powerful tool we can work with when attempting to bring others into rapport with us.
You can reach Valerie directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org